Three reasons to co-design your app

App Development
Dec 21, 2020
4 minute read

Co-design has become a popular approach when building tech, often coupled with agile teams and MVP building. The approach means that the client spends quite a lot of time meeting with the development team to discuss progress and talk about the project. At Bad Dinosaur, we really believe that this is a great way to work, despite the amount of work it requires of the client - or maybe because of it.

At first glance, it might seem like the co-design approach that we have at Bad Dinosaur is more trouble than it’s worth. Why spend time attending co-design meetings when you can just hand a spec list to your developers and come back later to pick up the finished product?

The truth is that you could, but you might not want to. In our opinion, spending time on co-design is more than worth it, because it gives you value far beyond just getting to know our awesome team. 

Here are three reasons why you should spend time codesigning your app: 

1. Engagement 

At Bad Dinosaur, we work hard to “get” our clients and understand what you’re trying to achieve. In co-design meetings, we get to know you better and you get to tell us about the details of the context and aim of your project. As we go along, we learn a lot from co-designing with clients, both about them and about the context of their app. We can use this knowledge to make your app really well suited to the purpose and make sure we solve exactly the problem you’re trying to solve. 

With designers and developers in direct contact with clients, it’s easy to be engaged and enthusiastic about the people who come through our doors with new ideas. Instead of being handed a spec list to get through by a manager, developers and designers get to know you and what you’re trying to do, which makes them enthusiastic about the project.

The fact that we’re so engaged also means that you have a whole team that gets excited for you when you’re successful and know exactly why things work or don’t. We love keeping in touch with past clients and seeing the app out in the world, because we’re engaged with the client from start to finish and know them and their projects really well. This also means that we have a great starting point for further development if you need it after we finish your initial product. 

2. Continuous adjustments 

You know the saying that a plane is off-course 99% of the time, right? Not to worry you, but it’s the same with the product in codesign. We course-correct every day as we work on the app, and talk it through with you in the co-design meetings. This approach means that the project evolves organically, and that you can be part of any compromise that needs to be made. We keep you in the loop and take advantage of having you on hand to consult about which direction to go next. “Co-design is great because you can instantly gauge the clients’ reactions,” says Nick, developer. The feedback is instantaneous and can be acted on at once. This also keeps the project agile, as small iterations are continually evaluated to determine the best course of action going forward. 

“My favourite thing about co-design is that there are no scary reveals,” says Lindsay, designer. With co-design, changes are small and easy rather than big and scary. Because the client gets to see how the project changes all the time, it feels less scary when small changes do happen. We see our clients usually around once a week, and this means that there are no nasty surprises once the client sees the most recent changes to the product. Ideally, the clients know what is going on at all times and are condent in the decisions that are being made. 

3. Better end product 

We firmly believe that the continuous adjustments mean that you end up with a better app. If you just hand out a spec list and return to pick up your product, you might get a nasty surprise because developers have made changes that might not line up with your vision. With co-design, you know what changes have been made and have been part of the discussion since day one. This means that the end product is what you need, even if it isn’t what you envisioned in the first meeting. 

Even though the product has changed since the rst meeting, the end product of a co-design process remains true to the vision. The back-and-forth with you allows us to pick the course you prefer and solve the issues in a way that enables you to reach your goals. When we know the details of the problem we’re trying to solve through the co-design meetings, we can help you find the best possible solution. That way we avoid accidentally derailing your vision, and we often end up with something better than what we could imagine at the beginning of the project. 

The co-design process works best if you’re open to new ideas and exible in the way you think about the app. It’s important to remember that the more we understand your vision, the more we can use our knowledge to help you find the best solution, and this solution might not always look the way you’d thought it would before development started. 

As your project morphs during the process, you have a unique opportunity to be part of the decision-making when changes have to happen. Take advantage! By engaging with the process, you can help make your product the best it can be. That’s why we love co-design.


4 minute read
Share this post: